Unusual Sources of Good Salespeople.
Advertising isn’t the only way to find suitable job candidates. Here are some other sources worth considering:
If the sales position in question is an entry-level one, you may have some ideal candidates right under your nose, such as a customer support person or an employee who shows promise and who has expressed an interest in going into sales.
Birds of a feather flock together and it’s quite likely that your existing salespeople may know someone who could be a candidate for the position.
Also, ask them if they know any competitive salespeople whom they respect. (Be careful about approaching these possible candidates directly as you might start a raiding war.)
Former sales staff.
If you had someone in the past who was a performer but left for greener pastures, consider giving the individual a call. Sometimes the grass isn’t always greener, but the person might feel embarrassed about approaching you.
Other sales managers or networking groups.
Use your personal contacts with other non-competing sales managers. Ask if they’ve seen or interviewed any potential candidates that they could pass along to you.
Don’t be afraid to approach a competitor’s salesperson. Be careful with this. You may want a third-party to make the approach so that you don’t start a raiding/poaching war.
Talk with some of your best customers. Who do they have calling on them now who have created a good impression?
Superstars you meet
Here is my final tip for finding good salespeople, don’t run an advertisement. Use an even better resource, your experience. As you trundle up and down the road of life, keep note of the salespeople you meet that impress you.
Get their cards and home telephone numbers. That way you’ll know how to reach them when you’re looking to hire someone. Make sure you give them your card and suggest that they contact you if they ever get the urge to move on and leave their current employer.
If someone impressed you, he or she is likely to impress your customers as well. Professional selling skills are very transportable and if the person was good at selling whatever it was you were buying, he or she may be able to sell your stuff as well. Really good salespeople have transportable skills and attitudes.
What better source of talent than real performance?
While I don’t have the edge on creativity when it comes to finding stones to turn over in my quest for good salespeople, I hope you find these ideas helpful.